A terrific sprint handicap and the highlight of the season at this Edinburgh racetrack, there is prize money of £100,000 up for grabs so it’s no surprise to see some talented sprint handicappers in the line-up.
The race is open to four-year-olds and upwards rated between 0-110, and includes a number of well known sprinters who are regulars in this cavalry charge, always a hot betting race. A number of the contenders met two weeks ago at York, or only last week in the Investec Dash at Epsom.
Favourite El Astronaute
Represents trainer John Quinn and jockey Jason Hart and comes here on the back of a big effort in a hot race at York two weeks ago where he only lost out in a photo finish. He was seventh in this race 12 months ago.
Of the other 15 runners there is barely a horse that can be ruled out of contention, but among those likely to figure toward the head of the betting are Major Jumbo, Move In Time, Soie d’Leau, Line Of Reason, Dark Shot and Merhoob.
As ever, this race is ultra-competitive and there are a host of horses with chance. El Astronaute is expected to edge favouritism following a big run at York two weeks ago when he lost out by only a head to the talented Mr Lupton having beaten Dark Shot over the same course and distance nine days earlier. He runs off the same mark and should go well but has failed to reach a place on his two previous visits to this track.
Soie D’Leau, like El Astronaute, is trained by John Quinn and won well on his seasonal reappearance at Thirsk, beating the decent Blue De Vega on his first start for the yard having previously been trained by Kristin Stubbs, He’s gone up 3lb for that success but is in fine form at present and another bold show would not surprise.
Sprint specialist Paul Midgley saddles three in this race; Move In Time, Orvar, and last year’s winner Line Of Reason. Move In Time bolted up at Newmarket last time but has been raised 7lb for that win, and at the age of 10 it’s asking a lot of him to produce further improvement. Orvar looks to have a bit to find, but LINE OF REASON, who beat Harry Hurricane in this race 12 months ago, showed signs of a return to form after a period in the doldrums when seventh behind El Astronaute at York.
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He runs off a 7lb lower mark than last year and is back on the fast ground that he loves. Line Of Reason should make a bold bid for a repeat success.
Eric Alston’s Orion’s Bow was a good third at Pontefract in April then failed to see out the six furlongs at York last time. Back at the minimum trip and off a tempting handicap mark, he represents an interesting each-way proposition. Ornate is another with claims along with veteran Caspian Prince, fourth 12 months ago and better than his finishing position at Epsom last week suggests, having been drawn wide.
Betting.net Line Of Reason
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Betting.net Orion's Bow
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Written by Paul Alster
Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.